Amice Suavissime… (Dearest Friend…)

Amsterdam Light Festival 2015/16

Zwanenburgwal / Amstel, Amsterdam

Floating light sculpture, a letter from Baruch Spinoza to Lodewijk Meijer

In the 17th century Spinoza’s radical ideas opened the doors for Enlightenment in Europe. After his death, all of his papers which were kept in his writing desk, were saved by his friends. They put them on a boat, following Spinoza’s instructions, that after his passing away, the desk should be sent directly to an Amsterdam publisher. The individuals who saved Spinozas writings put themselves into great danger. But since they shared Spinozas completely new views on religion, politics and philosophy, they were willing to put their lives at risk for their ideals. Thus, this act of friendship should become invaluable to humankind, for it preserved Spinozas brilliant ideas, which should lay the foundation for much of what we now regard as modern.

Original letter from Spinoza University of Amsterdam


Photo: Augusto Morillo